Vitaly Petrov has taken his second consecutive pole position at the GP2 Series season finale at Portimao after emerging on top of an incredibly close qualifying session.
Just one second covered Petrov in first down to Sergio Perez in 15th, the Russian's swift final effort enough to give him a crucial point as he looks to cement the runners-up spot in this year's standings.
He will be joined on the front row by surprise package Dani Clos, who qualifies inside the top ten for only the second time of what has been a troubled season for the rookie.
The Fat Burner Racing Engineering racer was one of a small number of drivers, including Alberto Valerio and Michael Herck, to take advantage of having raced at the Portuguese circuit recently after entering July's World Series by Renault race.
Of the three, however, it was Clos who took advantage to line up alongside Petrov, the Spaniard eager to end his year by getting into the points for the first time.
New champion Nico Hulkenberg will start third for ART Grand Prix, ahead of Lucas di Grassi, who completed a good session for reigning champions Racing Engineering to claim fourth position.
Petrov's Addax team-mate Davide Valsecchi leads the third row following his best qualifying session since switching from Durango Corse, ahead of Piquet pair Roldan Rodriguez and Valerio, while Pastor Maldonado and Monza winner Giedo van der Garde round out the top ten.
Elsewhere, Alvaro Parente's hopes of taking a victory on home ground for both himself and Ocean Racing Technology team were hindered by a gearbox problem that prevented him from getting out on track. He will start 24th and last, with team-mate Karun Chandhok faring little better in 21st.